United States Senator Chris Murphy wants to radically reign in the President’s ability to use military force abroad. Chris Murphy is a Democrat from Connecticut and with Independent Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont Republican Senator Mike Lee from Utah is a co-sponsor of the new National Security Powers Act.
If enacted, this legislation would give Congress far more say in matters of war and peace than it currently enjoys. This includes placing strict limits on the ability of the executive branch to conduct military operations abroad without Congressional approval; increased Congressional oversight on international arms sales; and reforming how the President is able to declare a national emergency.
This legislation poses important Constitutional questions about the proper role of Congress vs the Executive Branch in US foreign policy. It also signals an increased bi-partisan exasperation about the unrestrained use of military force around the world — by Presidents of both parties — since 2001.
If enacted the National Security Powers Act would, in practice, sharply curtail the never-ending “war on terror” and serve as a restraint against what is now an ever-expanding list of places around the world in which the US has conducted military operations since 2001.
Senator Chris Murphy is back on the podcast today to describe the problem he sees this legislation as helping to solve; and why he thinks increased Congressional oversight over war powers is important for renewing and sustaining American Democracy.